HP: webOS Tablet Due in Early 2011

In their quarter earnings call with analysts, the head of HP’s PC division said the company plans to release a tablet computer based on Palm’s webOS in early 2011. Although the timeline puts a webOS tablet device on the market after the holiday season and the first flurry of Android tablets, the statement is HP’s first articulation of a timeframe for a webOS-based product since its acquisition of Palm, Inc.

“You’ll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future, and a webOS-based product in early 2011,” said the head of HP’s Personal Systems Group Todd Bradley, during the quarterly earnings call. No other information about the webOS tablet was offered.

Bradley’s comment implies HP’s Windows 7-based Slate tablet may be available before early 2011: HP has famously been working on a tablet device, dubbed the HP Slate, that ran a full version of Windows 7. The device was demonstrated by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as last January’s CES show before the Apple iPad hit the market as a way to counteract Apple’s already-substantial market momentum; however, HP has not shipped the Slate, and recently announced the product would be repositioned as an enterprise offering rather than a consumer device.

HP hasn’t announced any naming for a webOS-based tablet, but recently was awarded a trademark for the name “PalmPad.”

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